Computing In Your Pocket: The Prehistory of the iPhone in Silicon Valley

Two decades before Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, a handful of engineers and designers began exploring the idea of handheld computers in Silicon Valley. In 1987, beginning with the then-secret Newton Project inside Apple and with a mobile pen-based computer at Go Corp., a range of handheld computing ideas began to bubble up all around the Valley. Before long, inside Apple there were prototypes like Swatch and Pen Mac, and the Pocket Crystal idea which would be spun out in 1990 as General Magic. Shortly afterwards, in 1992, Palm Computing was founded. The race was on to reinvent computing and make it even more personal.

This is the recording of a fascinating panel discussion with moderator John Markoff, a Computer History Museum Historian, who reported on the era for the New York Times, Steve Capps, who led the development of the Newton while at Apple Computer; Donna Dubinsky, former president & CEO of Palm, Inc. and co-founder & former CEO of Handspring; Jerry Kaplan, founder of Go Corp.; and Marc Porat, co-founder and former chief executive of General Magic.

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